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Sanjit Kumar - Livelihood Trust for Sustainable Social Advancement - Latehar, Jharkhand

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Population in Latehar (Census 2011)
Total Population
Total : 725673
Male : 369534
Female : 356139

Brief About Latehar District

Latehar district has been created on 4th April 2001. Previously, it was a subdivision of old Palamau district of Jharkhand State. Latehar district is situated between 84deg. 31 min. East latitude 23 deg. 44.4 sec north latitude.
The geogrophical area of the district is 3651.59 square kilometers. There are 7 (Seven) Development Blocks, namely Latehar, Chandwa, Balumath, Manika, Barwadih, Garu and Mahuadar

History

Latehar was an integral part of Palamau; hence it is desirable to take into consideration the historical account of Palamau as a whole. The district of Palamau was constituted on 01 January 1928. Its headquarter Daltonganj was named after Colonel Dalton, the Commissioner of Chotanagpur during British rule. The area was inhabited by the autochthones tribes like Chero, Oraon and Kharwar. Oraon ruled a part of Palamau from Rohtasgarh. The Chero reigned in Palamau for more than 200 years. Among the important Chero rulers, mention may be made of Raja Medini Rai (1662-1674). He extended his sway over South Gaya and large parts of Hazaribagh and Sarguja. Medini Rai's memory has survived more for his justice than for his conquests. He built one of the Palamau forts (the lower fort). His son Pratap Rai built a fort near his father’s fort, which still exists in Betla.

The influence of Mughals extended to Palamau during the reign of Emperor Akbar, when Palamau was invaded by Raja Man Singh in 1574. The troops left by him were however driven out in 1605, when Akbar died. In 1629 Shahjehan appointed Ahmad Khan as Subedar of Patna and Palamau was given to him as jageer. He imposed tribute on Chero rulers, but they refused to pay the tribute and hence Palamau faced three successive invasions of Muslims.

The quarrel among the claimants of rights of kingship on Palamau gave way to the British to invade Palamau for the first time in 1772 and the fort of Palamau was captured. In 1832 the Cheros and Kharwars raised their voice against administration. The insurgents were however defeated in an engagements with the British forces near Latehar.

During 1857 movement Palamau was the most severely affected zone of Chotanagpur plateau. The brothers Nilambar and Pitambar, the chief of Bhogta clan of Kharwar tribe were holding ancestral Jagirs. Taking advantage of the movements against British rule they made up their minds to declare themselves to be independents and were joined by many Chero Jagirdars. They jointly attacked on British supporters. ‘O’ Malley (1907) has narrated that Nilambar and Pitambar were eventually captured, tried and hanged. Palamau played important role in freedom movement of the country. A momentous event was the visit of Mahatma Gandhi along with Shri Rajendra Prasad to Daltonganj on 11th January 1927 during his second tour in Bihar. The August disturbances in 1942 had their echoes in Palamau as well. Railway lines were dismantled, telegraph lines were cut a large number of people both at the district headquarters and the interior were arrested.

Thus it is apparent that Latehar as a part of Palamau has undergone the impacts of Chero rule, British rule, Muslim infusion, Jamindari and Jagirdari Pratha various freedom movements etc. time to time.

Administration

Latehar town is the district headquarters of Latehar district. The office of the Deputy Commissioner is located in Latehar town. Deputy Commissioner is the head of the district administration and is ex-officio chairman of various societies/agencies that are involved in the development of the district. Deputy Commissioner is also the District Programme Coordinator under NREGA. Various Societies and governmental agencies that are in the direct control of the Deputy Commissioner are D.R.D.A., D.U.D.A., MESO, Centrally Sponsored Social sector, Welfare schemes etc.

No Panchayat elections have been held in the state after 72/73rd amendment in the Constitution of India. Therefore, as per the direction of the Govt, Deputy Commissioner is the ex-officio Chairman of the District Rural Development Agency; which plans, implements, supervises and monitors various centrally and State Sponsored Schemes.

The Deputy Development Commissioner is the ex-officio Managing Director of D.R.D.A. as well as Chief Executive officer. There are seven blocks in the district. At the block level Block Development officers are involved in development works of the respective blocks, there are supervisory level officials & Panchayat Sevaks and Jansewaks at the panchayat level.

Besides the Agencies that have been referred above, there are various line departments that also plan, implement, supervise and monitor the schemes as per instruction of their respective departments.


1) District Agriculture Officer.
2) Divisional Forest Officer.
3) District Soil Conservation Officer.
4) District Welfare Officer.
5) District Fisheries Officer.
6) District Education Officer.
7) Civil Surgeon.
8) District Superintendent of Education.
9) Executive Engineer, R.E.O.
10) Executive Engineer, N.R.E.P.
11) Executive Engineer, Minor Irrigation.
12) Executive Engineer, P.W.D. (Road)
13) Executive Engineer, P.H.E.D.
14) Executive Engineer, Water Resources.
15) Executive Engineer, Electricity Board.
16) District Mining Officer.
17) G.M., D.I.C.

There is also a MESO Officer in this district, who looks after various development schemes for the Tribals.

All these line departments though work under their respective controlling officer of the department, but they are under indirect control of Deputy Commissioner.

There is a 20-point Programme Implementation Committee at the district level under the Chairmanship of Minister of state of Govt., who is nominated by the State Govt. Deputy Commissioner is ex-officio Secretary of the committee. This Committee supervises and monitors implementation of the schemes of line departments.

LATEHAR has been named after the village of the same name on Ranchi Daltonganj Road. It is 100 k.m. away by road from Ranchi, the capital of Jharkhand. Latehar is famous for its rich natural beauty, forest, forest products and mineral deposits. Latehar remained an integral part of Palamau District as a sub division since 1924.

It got elevated from sub divisional status to a district on 4th April 2001 vide Jharkhand Govt. Notification No 946 dated 04.04.2001. Latehar is located on the north–west corner of Jharkhand in the Palamau Commissionary. It is surrounded by Ranchi, Lohardaga, Gumla, Palamau and Chatra district apart from Chhattisgarh state and situated between 840.31’ East Longitude and 230 44.5’ North Latitude.

It’s a predominantly tribal district with almost 40% of the population belonging to the schedule tribes and more than 66 % of total population comprises SCs and STs. The total area of the district is 3,671 Sq. Km and one of the block headquarters is more than 200 K.M. away from the district headquarters.
   
There are seven Community Development Blocks in the district within which distantly located villages are scattered amidst the dense forest, hilly terrains and agricultural fields. The number of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes is predominantly high here and Latehar comes under Tribal Sub Plan Area.

DEVELOPMENT SCHEMES.

(A) Centrally Sponsored Schemes: -

NATIONAL RURAL EMPLOYMENT GUARANTEE SCHEME

RASHTRIYA SAM VIKAS YOJANA (NOW BAKWARD REGIONS’ DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVE)

INDIRA AWAS YOJANA

SWARNA JAYANTI GRAM SWAROJGAR YOJANA

PRADHAN MANTRI GRAM SADAK YOJANA

WATERSHED PROGRAMMES (HARIYALI)

(B) Centrally Assisted Schemes:-

Latehar district being a predominantly tribal district comes under the Scheduled Area. Therefore, the Govt. of India provides special assistance under article 275 (I) of the Constitution of India and various other heads. Project Office known as Micro Economic Socio Organisation (MESO) was created to implement schemes under Integrated Tribal Development Programme in Tribal Sub-Plan.

(C) State Sponsored Schemes:-

Under State Sponsored Scheme apart from health, education irrigation schemes, other schemes under state govt. in this district viz. C.M.G.S.Y. (Chief Minister Gram Setu Yojana) and M.L.A. /M.L.C. Schemes are being implemented. The basic objective of C.M.G.S.Y. is to provide connectivity of villages to panchayats and panchayats to block headquarters by constructing bridges. Birsa Munda Awas Yojana for PTGs and Deen Dayal Awas Yojana in the pattern of IAY are being implemented. Mukhyamantri Kanyadan Yojana is another ambitious scheme benefiting the village folk.


DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVES BY DISTRICT ADMINISTRATION

It’s a well known fact that we do not have local self government at the grass root level for almost three decades. To fill the gap, the administration has started allotting the execution works to S.H.G.s in general and women S.H.G.s in particular with the consent of Gram Sabhas. Under the Rashtriya Sam Vikas Yojana, more than 250 Anganwadi Centre buildings and more than 150 Primary School buildings are being built by the women S.H.G.s. Similarly under NREGS and SCA schemes, Women SHGs, Water Users’ Societies and NGOs have been given the execution work.

Similarly, authority has been devolved to local traditional village head. In the absence of local self govt., steps have been taken to empower the traditional tribal village chieftains. Thus the local Gram Sabhas headed by Manaki Mundas, Manjhis, Mahto etc. have been strengthened through fresh Gazette notification in the District Gazette. These traditional chieftains have been given financial teeth by empowering them to settle their local sands deposits. They have been given important roles in the selection, implementation and monitoring of local development schemes.

It is to be noted that these individuals, institutions or organizations, whether they are Gram Pradhans or Gram Sabhas or S.H.G.s or N.G.O.s, they have joined the participation process of development in the mainstream system, they will neither be attracted nor will they permit their wards to disso late from the mainstream. Further, whenever the elections for PRIs will take place, these persons and institutions will be the major stakeholders. In other way it can be said that capacity building process is going on before the PRIs election, which would certainly strengthen the democratic process at the grass root level.

The District Administration has also initiated a unique programme of quality fish breeding. Thus, all such families of SC and ST, who are living below poverty line, have been invited to construct fish ponds on their personal land with govt. help. Such fish hatcheries would not alienate the land rights of the landlords and would give unhindered rights of fish production. The beneficiaries of this scheme are being provided specialized training by the experts of National Fisheries Research Institute, Barrackpore (W.B). This scheme has gone a long way in the socio- economic upliftment of the rural poor whose recurring income has increased and buying power strengthened.

Education

There are 19 High Schools, 1224 Middle and Primary Schools, one Model High School at Netarhat (Mahuadanr Block), One Govt. Polytechnic and one Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, 05 Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalayas and 10 Residential schools for S.C/S.T. students in Latehar district. Latehar became the first district in Jharkhand where cooked mid-day meal scheme was initiated in 200 selected primary schools comprising 20,782 enrolled students in December 2003. Now all 1224 primary schools, including all EGS centres and all minority schools, comprising 1, 37,000 students in January 2006 have been covered under this scheme and going on successfully. With this the one fourth of total population of district has been brought under the umbrella of mid day meal scheme. Each of these Schools has been provided with Kitchen Sheds for cooking and storage purpose and the same has been constructed by utilizing development funds. Mother Committee “Sarswati Vahini”, comprising all the mothers of students of the school and where one of the mothers of the children becomes convener of the committee and supervises the successful implementation of the scheme at the school.

It is also to be noted that Latehar district is a part of Palamau Division, which is very infamous for so-called starvation deaths and acute malnutrition standard and it had been the poignant issue for extremists to make people hostile towards government and administration.

After introduction of mid day meal schemes even at the remotest part of the district, nutrition standard of the children has improved to a great extent.

It’s also to be noted that absenteeism of the schoolteachers was very high in the district, but after the implementation of the scheme it has come down to less than 10%.

MDM became the boon for administration, because the district launched the programme in a campaign mode and all the field officers and employees, irrespective of their official assignments, played instrumental role in introduction, implementation and monitoring of the scheme. During this process, they could sneak through to those so-called forbidden areas, where they could have never thought to visit for monitoring of their departmental programmes.

Now not a single village is untouched by the administration and not a single right meaning government employee has been obstructed by the extremists in performance of his or her duties.

I.C.D.S. Programme

Under I.C.D.S. Programme, total no of 649 Anganawari Centers are functioning in this district out of which none of the Anganwari Centres is building less. Recently 207 more Anganwari Centres have been sanctioned, for which construction of building and selection of AWCs will take place very soon. Cooked meal is being provided in two projects of the district and the result has been very encouraging. All projects will be covered very soon under the cooked meal scheme.

Health

In Latehar district, 101 P.H.C.s, 7 Primary Health Centres and One Sub-divisional Hospital are functioning and none of the health centres is building less.

Child Health & Education

Infant mortality rate of the district is very high.

The main cause being:-

(a) Poor education of rural women.
(b) Negligence in health care during pregnancy.
(c) Mal nutrition and under nutrition.

The establishment of Aanganbari Kendras in remote areas will provide the women and children a better plateform for development of awareness towards health and education.

At present 227 Aanganabari Kendras are buildingless .They are being run in private houses, leading to many functional Problems. To ensure proper fuctioning of the programme, there is proposal for the construction of Aanganabari Kendras. List of buildingless Aanganbari Kendras is annexed here with annexure-IX.

HEALTH CARE

Condition of health Services in this district is not satisfactory. Main cause behind high maternal mortalities and infant mortalities rate is poor health service in the district. The district lack network of health Centres. The out break of malaria is very frequent in the district which often taken the form of epidemic. The development of network of health centers will lead to proper health care and conciousness of the rural people.

There is proposal for the renovation of Primay health Centre, Additional Primay Health Centres., Primay health sub Centres.

Economy and Irrigation

The economy of the people revolves round the forest, agriculture and minerals.

(a) Agriculture: - A large number of people are engaged in agricultural activities. Cultivation of paddy, maize, cereals, wheat, oil seeds etc. are common. The people are either working as agricultural labourers or cultivators. Kharif and Rabbi are the main agricultural seasons. Karma festival is celebrated for good production of crops.

(b) Forest: - Out of total geographical area of 4211-2508 sq. k.m., forest area covers nearly 2010.2245 sq. k.m. The tribal economy revolves around using forest products, by products and minor products. Kendu leaves, Bamboo and its manufactured products, Mahua, fruits, leaves (used is the making of dona, pattal), lac etc. play an important role in the economic activity of the people. People also hunt animals for food and ‘Jani shikar’ festival is related to this hunting habit.

(c) Mines and Minerals: - The geological reports say that the district is very rich in various mineral deposits. There is abundance of deposit of Coal, Bauxite, Laterite, Dolomite, and Graphite etc. Granite, Quartz, Fireclay, Felspar etc. The excavation and exploration of these minerals have provided job opportunities to the inhabitants of this hinterland to some extent because these minerals have not been fully explored at large scale and there are no mineral based industries in the district.

(d) Animal Husbandry: -The quality of livestock is very poor. Cow, goats etc. are of local variety and the average milk yield is very less. There is a vast scope in the field of animal husbandry in Latehar.

(e) Trade and commerce: - In place of old Mahajans and landlords, various banks are operating their branches is the district but it is a matter of fact that most of the villages are so scattered that the system of primary trade in the hands of vyaparis and village sahukars still continues. Paddy thrashing, dona pattal making, bamboo basket making, selling of mahua flowers. Lacs, kendu leaves and other minor forest produces are main components of trading activities. In the absence of major industries and employment opportunities, the options of economic development are limited. Animal husbandry, piggery and fisheries etc. have good potential, but this sector has still remained unexplored.

 

 
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